In accordance with Chapters I (5) and Schedule I of the Unification Treaty, the five new states are also excluded from the implementation of the NATO Status of Troops Agreement and the additional agreement to the NATO Troop Status Agreement. An exchange of notes of September 25, 1990 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1990 II, p. 1251, Bundesgesetzblatt 1994 II s. 29) and 12 September 1994 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1994 II p. 3716) granted the troops of the sending countries, their civilian component, their members and relatives in the Land of Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Land of Saxony, the Land of Saxony-Anhalt and the Land of Thuringia , with the same legal status as in the former federal states. However, since permanent deployment is excluded, the federal government decides on a case-by-case basis whether the right to a temporary presence in the new states is granted to the armed forces of the sending states. The law of the former Soviet forces on the territory of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) was governed by the Treaty on Relations between the GDR and the Soviet Union of 20 September 1955. The subsequent withdrawal of Soviet forces was governed by two treaties concluded in 1990 with the former Soviet Union (treaty on temporary residence conditions and modalities for the gradual withdrawal of Soviet forces from the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany of 12 1990 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1991 1991, (p.256) and the Convention on Certain Provisional Measures of 9 October 1990 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1990 II , p. 1653) and the Convention on Certain Provisional Measures of 9 October 1990 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1990 II) S. 1653), 1991 II p.447). The total withdrawal of the former Soviet forces from Germany took place in 1994. The NATO Status Agreement and the PfP Status Agreement are complemented by agreements concluded on the basis of the Visiting Forces Act (Bundesgesetzblatt 1995 II, p. 554).
The Visiting Forces Act allows the federal government to legally implement such agreements with foreign states on the short-term entry and presence of their armed forces in Germany for exercises, overland crossing and unit formation. This will address issues that are not adequately covered by NATO Status Agreements and PfP Status Agreements, such as environmental protection, telecommunications and health protection. To date, the federal government has concluded such agreements with Poland (agreement of 23 August 2000), the Czech Republic (31 July 2003), Austria (6 November 2007), Estonia (21 November 2007), Switzerland (7 June 2010) and Hungary (27 February 2014). As a newly arrived member of our community, it is important to understand your legal status in Germany and your protection. For example, Germans living in Germany with no connection to the U.S. military or government are German citizens without special status. Americans who live in Germany and have no military or American affiliation can live in Germany as legal inhabitants if the German government has given permission. You may have heard of the SOFA status, but “SOFA” is not part of the furniture – it is an important set of demands and responsibilities that determine how, as a military community, we live and operate in our host country, Germany.